Though many think that US healthcare is substandard for a developed nation with America’s resources, but they are wrong. Centering around access to care, care policies, health outcomes, and patient
The American healthcare business in contrast to the other Western countries most likely struggles as far as inequality in access and subsequent inequality in the care that is delivered. However, simultaneously, the US-based hospitals are unquestionably some of the most progressive and advanced with state-of-the-art facilities around the globe. Keeping aside the negative aspects, let us appreciate four things which are great about the US healthcare business highlighted by Ram Duriseti MD,PhD.
1. Patient preference and right to ask
In the US, patient-centric care is not simply a catchphrase. It is the reality in all medical facilities in the country. If you are patient admitted to a US hospital, you empowered and encouraged to ask questions, look for second opinions, and if necessary, complain to an authority established and ready to listen to your grievances. This transparency stands in stark contrast to the hierarchical approach used in the national systems of other well developed nations. Indeed, many families in nations with nationalized hospitals elect to patronize a private facility with supplemental private insurance to access more expedited care and participate more openly with care decisions. In effect, the patient is eschewing the national system for a more American system when the patient has the choice to choose the hospital and doctor. In effect, it means that you have more rights as a patient in a private hospital here in America.
2. Quick access to medical care
When you are in a hospital in the US, you get access to all medical care and facilities and quick tests or diagnosis, which is not possible in many other countries. Each significant free standing hospital facility in the United States has access to the more standard battery of blood tests, and x-rays, but also provides options for invasive diagnostic interventions, and appropriate invasive treatment from a specialist. American hospitals will frequently get you the help and the medical care you need fast, and do so, most often, within a few hours regardless of your ability to pay for these services. You are in safe hands and get on-time treatment in US hospitals.
3. Patients experience a comfortable environment
In the US, the hospitals are extremely accommodating as well as comfortable compared to the medical facilities found elsewhere around the globe. In other countries, it is common that many patients are accommodated in a single room. Some of the industrialized nations are unable to allocate different rooms to male and female patients: a form of fundamental self-respect deprived to people even when they are ill. In contrast, US hospitals are built with the purpose of allowing a family member to stay with the patient. In doing so, they are decreasing crowds, providing sleeping facilities for the care-giver for the patient thereby increasing privacy during a vulnerable time, while also decreasing disruptive alerts and overhead pages, and promoting a more heathy and palatable diet.
4. Innovation, entrepreneurship, and research
US University-associated hospitals, rank at the top as far as research, innovation, and development is concerned. Whether it is life-saving drugs made by American companies or procedures like heart stents or technical innovations which improve care delivery and are adopted globally, numerous of the globe’s latest medications and technologies are developed in the US and distributed globally.
As far as physician entrepreneurship is concerned, most people appropriately perceive this as a double-edged sword. If such entreneurship resulted in increased costs with risk of harm or no benefit, the patient and physician demands of excellence from the supply chain and manufacturers will quickly vet the quality of the winners and losers. This natural pruning translates to the most effective cutting-edge, innovative technologies as well as treatments, surviving the “thinning” as the best options percolate to the top and become used in clinician work flow and clinical care. In this sense, physician entrepreneurship leads quality and innovation and patients benefit.
Moving forward, the challenge for the US health care system is applying the positive dynamics and processes to patient care while also increasing access and decreasing disparities in care which we encounter along ethnic and gender lines within the US. Indeed, specific technologies and process are being put in place to directly address and mitigate such inequities. At this time and in our current social environment, decreasing these inequities has become the goal within smaller health care systems with regional penetration on up to the national level. The variable outcomes with SARS-CoV2 infection and COVID-19 infection in different ethnic populations has mandated immediate attention and consideration from the American healthcare system. The American system has decades of being attuned to our multicultural and pluralistic society, has strong data-science structural underpinnings, and is therefore primed to respond effectively.